An upbeat and positive Tim Noakes on Monday said he was excited to appear before the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) after the body charged him with unprofessional conduct.
“I finally get the chance to present the evidence,” he said at a press conference during a break in proceedings.
“I am not invited to present the [low carb high fat diet] evidence to the South African community. I don’t get invited to talk at conferences on this topic.”
Earlier this year Noakes, in a message posted on Twitter, advised a mother to wean her child on low carbohydrate, high fat foods – commonly abbreviated as LCHF.
The Tweet read, “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF.”
According to the HPCSA, he acted in a manner not in accordance with the norms and standards of the profession, by providing “unconventional advice on breast feeding babies”.
Noakes said he doesn’t regret the tweet because: “What I said is correct.”
“I have been waiting years for this case. It’s not just about me and giving unconventional evidence and advice. It’s about why are South Africans so unhealthy? Why are we getting more obese and [why are more people being diagnosed with] diabetes?
“Is it the nutritional advice we are being given? That’s the question I am going to be addressing.”
‘IT IS A SIMPLE DISEASE’
Diabetes and obesity are completely preventable, he maintained.
“It is said diabetes and obesity are complex diseases and we don’t understand it. That is nonsense. It is a simple disease. The biology is simple, as we will try to explain [during the hearing].”
Noakes’s team plans to call on testimony from two international experts – Caryn Zinn, a dietitian from New Zealand, and Canadian professor Stephen Cunnane.
Zinn, who according to Noakes has been advising a low carb high fat dietary prescription for the past three years, said she had faced complaints by the Dietitians Board in New Zealand, from members of the dietitian society and also the Dietitians Association of Australia.
She said that one Australian dietitian had been expelled because she prescribed a low carb diet for diabetes.
Noakes said Zinn, who had studied at UCT, “converted by herself”.
“She has not found anything wrong [with the diet] and her patients haven’t died because of it – they have only become more healthy. That is part of the reason she is here.”
The hearing is a very important event in the history of nutrition in SA, Noakes insisted.
“We are also looking at the broader picture of why South Africans [are] sick and are we giving them the right nutritional advice?
“I don’t have to be here. I don’t practice medicine. I gave it up 15 years ago. But I believe that South Africans have to hear the truth. I have incurred enormous costs, but I believe so strongly that this message needs to get out. That’s why I am here.” News24